OLA 2015

Wednesday, January 28

100C Challenging, Refusing, & Venting – Oh My! How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace

The definition of workplace violence continues to expand and incorporates a range of behaviours including discourtesy, disrespect, intimidation, harassment/bullying, retaliation, verbal assault and physical assault. The crisis development model demonstrates responses to specific behaviours:

Behaviours Responses
Anxious Supportive
Defensive Directive
Physical Violence Response Procedures

Your responses to a situation can make a difference to the outcome and you need to know how to set effective limits:

  • explain which behaviour is inappropriate
  • explain why it is inappropriate
  • give choices with consequences
  • allow person to make a decision
  • follow through on consequences

Always give a positive choice first. If you give the negative one, that's all the other person will hear. E.g. I have spoken to you once about the noise level and if you keep it down, you can stay in the library. If I have to speak to you again, you'll be asked to leave.

Formula for setting effective limits: 2+2. Positive choice and positive consequence + negative choice + negative consequence = behavioural change.

Using negative assertion can be helpful. This means to disregard the majority of what the person is saying and focus on some small part of the question or statement with which you can genuinely agree. Sincerely state your agreement with that small part. Agree with the facts or the possibility or the odds.

Risk factors for violence:

  1. Extraordinary changes in behaviour
  2. Verbal abuse that is increasing in intensity and frequency
  3. Specific and extreme anger directed at a specific person, company, procedure or dept
  4. Expression of irrational, obsessive feelings of being wronged
  5. Threats

Take all threats seriously and perform a threat assessment (security or police can help with this). Make sure you are consistently reporting threats.


In addition to Rhonda's comments, a few key takeaways from this session:

  • "My attitude and behaviour can influence yours".
  • Demonstrated the "supportive stance" a physical stance with one step back and to the side that is less confrontational, and provides options for physical evasion. (Ask me to demonstrate, tricky to describe)
  • Being conscious of safe physical distances, and the emotional and psychological impact of personal space.
  • Any limits you set should be simple, clear, reasonable and enforceable.
  • Bullying, harassment or intimidation can't survive in an atmosphere that doesn't tolerate it.


105 How to Make It: Differing Approaches to Library Makerspaces Sandra W Marrin
This session presented jointly by Innisfil Public Library and Toronto Public Library was very interesting! Some of the topics covered: What should a library makerspace actually look like? Who is it for? What is the future of making in libraries?
Both of these libraries have a makerspace: Innisfil Public Library has the Innisfil ideaLAB and TPL has the Toronto's Digital Innovation Hub
Highlights of the session included:
-ideas on incorporating gaming
-design challenge: what does a library card look like in the future?
-Maker Faire: partnership with the maker community- way to reinforce the low tech as well e.g. origami, handicrafts (doesn't all have to be technology related), robots, soldering station (just have people sign a waiver form, well worth the risk, all part of invention)
- Do a survey, find out what people are interested in
-Art installations by local artists
-Amazing feedback
-Outreach- Digital Innovation Hub
-Inspire Book Fair
-Programs and workshops- more creative activity at the library
-Kids always playing Minecraft at the library so more intentional about doing programming involving Minecraft
-Engaging people- social aspects
-Getting adult males into the library with the Makerspace: hacking, making something, resident tinkerers
-Gave up the computer lab space and turned it into a Makerspace
-There were many seniors that used to attend the computer training sessions for the social aspect, so in the Makerspace they have a Appy Hour- social hour with seniors, less regimented, drop in social hour
-Check out a Skill- set up time for a one on one with a staff member, 104 appointments in the average month, 62 hours of staff time, avg. appointment 45 mins long
-Be open to partners
-Outreach: they brought the 3D printers to every school in Innisfil for demonstrations
-Evaluation: quantitative and qualitative- anecdotes from users on the impact of the space- if 7 attend a video editing class it doesn't seem like a big number, but when you have words about the actual impact on those people it makes a big difference
-A space for all ambitions, whimsical as well.

-Sandra W Marrin

205: Empowering Library Stakeholders to Adopt Maker Culture Sandra W Marrin
Innisfil Public Library
This session focused on those who are thinking about integrating maker culture into their services. How do you get your staff, board, and community to buy-in? Learn the steps to shift organizational culture and how to win support, and empower library stakeholders to embrace innovative initiatives through play, exploration and wonder.
-Your library re-imagined- imagine your library in 2020
-Play stimulates creativity and increases productivity
-Staff buy-in: the way staff training was approached- a few staff are trained and then they train the rest of the staff, staff meetings each month on progress and updates- learning component to each meeting, all staff included regardless of position
-Chalk board right by the circ front desk that has upcoming activities listed on it
-Maintain an atmosphere of play and learning
-Demonstrate and introduce the technology to board members so they can get behind it
-Present a good news story to Council each year and often the board members will appear in that- advocates for the library
-Need to have acceptance from the community at large
-3D printer in the public space, right on the circulation desks
-Programs down right out in the open in the library- no barriers, no room, no registration, no cost.
-Approach community groups to tell them about services and offerings
-Find out what community wants and get the relevant technology
-Fun but useful and relevant
-Changed the way they approach schools, focus on trans-literacy- library on the loose, bring cool stuff to them.

-Sandra W Marrin

401K: Best Collection Ever: Evidence Based Collection Development Sandra W Marrin
This session focused on Markham Public Library's new set of collections management procedures that they developed rooted in evidence-based decisions, staff engagement and community input.

Markham Public Library at a glance in 2014:
Population: 331,053
Branches: 7
Circ: 4.37 million
Visits: 2.32 million
Languages: 20

-Vast majority of collection development done by vendor
-Don't use the Dewey Decimal System- use C3 (customer centered classification)

-work not assigned effectively
-librarians with too much to do
-supervisors not responsible for collections
-lack of staff engagement-impact at the branch level
-communications about collections procedures cloudy- frustration, no procedures e.g. weeding, lack of criteria, collection profiles passed on to vendors but did not communicate with other staff, some staff doing the profiles not getting feedback or answers

-Collections assigned to Branch Librarians at the branches- info staff trained on collection procedures
-Assigning work properly: Collections Development Strategist, Branch Librarians, Library Services Associates
-Communication with the vendor
-Lots of data on the collections
-Reports, weeding lists, lots of training
-Collection profiles, very specific
-Create a culture where staff are engaged with the collections

Staff Engagement: share information, ask for suggestions, staff picks, using evidence to make changes, giving everyone a chance to have a meaningful impact

Customer Centered Collections: look at customer usage patters, how are customers using the existing collections, what are they requesting more of?, what are they requesting that you don't have?, direct customer feedback, socio-demographic data, collection placement and transfers- move items to where they will circulate, immigration trends, age trends

5:1 Holds Ratio for Everything (it used to be 7:1)

Where to Start?
Strategy: weed, merchandise, look & feel, review procedures (process map), take an Excel course, data clean up, new collections
Quick Wins: unlimited renewals, holds ratio, up-sell, celebrate reading

-Sandra W Marrin

In addition to Sandra's comments:
Markham moved from anecdotal "evidence" and assumptions about what was used and needed to evidence. The example I could most relate to was "we need more "insert social issue here" books"; this example was based on high school students asking for help. However when they looked at circ #s, holds, and what was out most of the time, versus on the shelf, this observation was not borne out.
Anthea stressed the importance of sharing the data behind collection decisions with all staff, so that they understood, and could get behind efforts to build & maintain more responsive collections.

402H: Ignite community dialogue and debate! Todd Kyle, Newmarket Public Library

Newmarket Public Library has put its strategic priority of "Igniting Community Dialogue and Debate" into action with its IdeaMarket series of conversation programs which have transformed the library’s role in the community. Todd noted how the initiative ties in with the Town's strategic priorities, and those identified in the http://csreports.aspeninstitute.org/Dialogue-on-Public-Libraries Aspen Report]. Libraries, as a neutral space without an agenda are a natural fit to host such discussions. It is reflective of the trend where the audience actively participates in and contributes to the content of program, rather than the program being a session where there is an expert simply delivering information. They have used a professional facilitator, and have a panel of people knowledgeable on the chosen topic, with rules for dialogue made clear at each session. They have had greater success with discussions of local issues that touch people more so than broader philisophical discussions. Kyle stressed that if you are offering people the chance to "have your say", you have to mean it; some people will be offended. Newmarket sees who is interested in partnering with the Library in these conversations as a sign of their success, but note that they need to document outcomes further.

402K: Patron Turnout Without Staff Burnout- Sandra W Marrin
Hastings Highlands Public Library
Hastings Highlands Public Library embraced a community led library model and together with their partners, the Municipality of Hastings Highlands and Maynooth Public School, they have been rewarded with innovation and collaboration to provide a sustainable, community service addressing common issues such as literacy, social isolation and economic challenges.
- Population under 5,000
-located halfway between Toronto and Ottawa
-new patrons increased by 350%, staffing did not

10 Tips to Embracing Community Led Model
1. Staff Buy-In
2. Staffing Structure
3. Job Descriptions vs. Job Roles, embrace staff skills
4. Identifying needs and priorities, strategic plan and community input
5. Community Outreach- patrons, organizations and partnerships, outsource to experts in community
6. Service Delivery- operational plan
7. Policies- recommendations and updates
8. Evaluation- exit interviews, did programs meet expectations? What could we improve?
9. Staff Appreciation
10. Inspiration

-Inspiration stations- area to allow learning through creativity, craft supplies, games, Lego
-Adult Play Space- movie nights, sewing, games
-Drop in Scrabble
-waiting list for Culture Corner Bookings
-Social Space by the Fireplace
-Sew n' Sews- local quilting group
-Literacy through Lego
-Sandra W Marrin

Plenary: Welcome To Night Vale: “The Librarians”
Rhonda & I attended a live performance of the quirky podcast "Welcome to Night Vale". If you haven't heard it, it's worth a listen: http://www.welcometonightvale.com/

508: Wisdom in the Resistance: Make Change Happen- Sandra W Marrin
Markham Public Library
A common challenge for libraries is managing change, especially in the face of staff resistance. Markham Public Library shared their strategies to break through resistance to change, resulting in a culture of innovation, creativity and engagement.
Strategies and Tips:
-need to share the reason behind the change to get at the reason for the resistance
-have a conversation to find out reasons for resistance
-resistance is not refusal
-change is emotional
-change creates emotion in people so you need to be able to address the emotion
-match the emotion with rational arguments
-MPL has a rotational staffing structure
-first time it was mandatory, now there is a voluntary aspect to it
-being able to present a compelling case for the change is necessary
-prepare for what is going to be lost and mourn it
-why change fails?: change management strategies can fail, overly focusing on the rationality rather than the emotions
-can be emotionally draining for the change agent, if we don't plan it holistically it can fail
-easier to change someones behaviour than their mindset
-people instinctively know what the right answer is
-people need to be able to see success to make the change and embrace it
-acting the change is more effective than talking the change
-becomes a performance issue if staff continue to resist the change
Sandra W Marrin

Thursday, January 29

801J: So Not Boring: Social Media Policy for Libraries - Emily

One of things the presenters stressed is the importance of knowing your audience. It’s important to post material that will appeal to your audience, and that is meaningful to them. You can use insights to see what posts get the most attention, and which ones drive people away.

It’s also important to create a strong Social Media team that is made up of creative individuals who have a strong online presence. Follow other libraries who use Social Media to see what works for them.

Listen to what others are saying about you.

Every library should create their own Social Media policy that outlines why the library is using Social Media, and how it fits within their Strategic Plan. The policy should include who is authorized to post and reply on Social Media, and what steps are in place to protect the library’s reputation. The policy should be updated regularly.

803A: Leading Through Disruptive Change and Crisis- Sandra W Marrin
Corrine Hill- Chattanooga Public Library
Corrine Hill is Library Journal's 2014 Librarian of the Year, she has been Executive Director of the Chattanooga Public Library since March 2012, and in the library business for 17 years. During this session Corrine shared her experiences during change, and her leadership efforts during times of struggle and flux.
-changing the culture of the organization you become a change agent and a stabilizer
-real change occurs after cataclysmic change
-get staff prepared to work and lead in a place that is always going to have changes happening all of the time. They expect change daily.
-adopt a "commanders intent": plan what success is going to look like and make it happen
-being able to tell people why we are doing something is so important and necessary
-whey do we work?: to make our communities better
-failure: view it as a potential for change
-building a learning organization
-training that involves life skills, not just work skills- we want people with high self esteem
-find the point where failure brings improvement
-own it and fix it. Always.
-it takes 3-5 years to change the culture of an organization
-trust your staff but ask lots of questions
-good leaders know when to leave
-staff engagement: training
-expect change all the time, build the curiousity, what will happen/change today?
-local business engagement- send teams out of the building.
-Sandra W Marrin

919: Engaging Customers with Creative Collisions- Sandra W Marrin
Innisful Public Library
With fleeting attention spans how can you make customers pay more attention to what your library is doing? This session discussed social objects, the "things" that make people stop, talk and think and cause creative collisions.
-people connecting and sharing with people
-connected by a shared object
-most important word on the internet is share
-your dog is a social object- bridges the gap of communication
-why do this?: opportunity to engage with customers, spread the word, bridge divides, make every transaction an experience
-The Participatory Museum by Nina Simon- worth looking at as a good example: "Imagine looking at an object not for its artistic/historical significance but for its ability to spark a conversation"
-4 types of engagement: personal, active, relational, provocative
-how can we create these collisions?: objects, experiences, experts
-3D printer on the circulation desk- strategic plan- staff became more familiar with it- able to answer questions, members of community find it to be a friendly place
-get attention at outreach events= have social objects!
-need to include books too
-Experiences in the library: digital piano, drum kit, keyboard, guitar, IdeaLAB, Community Art (Before I Die Project), chalkboard outside the library by the bus stop (to get some library love and to advertise programs)
-Faces of Innisfil Project
-Splash Pad- storytime venue on the Splash Pad
-Experts at the library: Artist in Residence Program- working right out in the middle of the library- altered book art- workshops with staff and the public; Resident Tinkerer- drop in workshops; 3D Portraits- local business person; Community Mentors
-Tips: do as much on the public floor as possible- visibility for connections, partner with local weavers guild, staff are experts- we all have hidden talents, drop in tech help, use social objects to jump start conversations, don't be afraid of failure, listen to your community
-Sandra W Marrin

1115: Creating an Updated Community-Led Libraries Toolkit- Sandra W Marrin
Presented by members of the OPLA's Community-Led Libraries Committee
The Community-Led Libraries Toolkit has been an excellent resource for staff for many years. Since 2008 when the toolkit was made available, the community-led model has evolved. Members of the OPLA's Community-Led Libraries Committee are working on updating the toolkit to reflect the community led efforts in Ontario.
-the toolkit is a great piece of documentation to look at when you are looking to start this in your organization.
-something more relevant to Ontario has been needed
-the library should be an expression of its community's vision and creativity; this can only happen if we involve them actively in decision making and planning
-outreach becomes community engagement when we reach out to them and involve them
-Community-Led Libraries Toolkit available online- TPL
-Edmonton's Toolkit was updated in 2013
-handbook for staff called Community Led- Connecting, Consulting, Collaborating to Strengthen Services
-Vancouver Public Library- Working Together Project
-Edmonton & Vancouver both share them online
-system specific
-TPL has a branch engagement for staff on their intranet
-lots of libraries embracing the community led approach

Toolkit Comparison
Commonalities: community entry, relationship building, customer service, evaluation
Additional Tools: community mapping, partnerships

-Why is working with the community important? Building relationships is the first step
-they are creating a new updated toolkit for all of Ontario
-there will be a new website for Ontario Community Led Libraries Toolkit- resource for Ontario Public Libraries, blog capability
Tools: how do i get started? Where am I on the map? How do I build relationships? Is this a partnership? How do I contribute/what skills do I need? How do I evaluate my work?
-not yet live but will be live in May at the Community Led Think Tank @HPL
-Sandra W Marrin

10 Things Every Library Should Do on You Tube by Andrea B.
-libraries and librarians are good at telling a story. Our You Tube videos should tell stories as well. Creating an emotional connection with the viewer is tantamount to an creating an effective You Tube video.

-the way to get attention with You Tube videos is by thinking outside of the box (don't just do virtual tours). The point is to get people to share, give you library attention.

-Less is more. Put up fewer, better videos that garner more engagement and shares instead of putting up lots of lesser quality videos.

-Reach out to "tastemakers" in the community, those in the physical world who are in your community and have online influence.

-Feature people in the community, which will help the library connect better with those in the community. This will also give people an incentive to support the library, since you've done "something" for them by featuring them in a video.

-Find a niche and create videos for a specific pocket of people.

-Create new videos regularly. Keep people engaged and thinking of checking your channel.

-When you put out videos, be a human being. A video doesn't have to be absolutely perfect. It just has to be good enough. There isn't enough time in a librarian's day to create perfect videos.

-put bloopers at the end! People will figure out that bloopers are at the end, and will want to stay to watch the entire video.

-asking people to subscribe to your channel is the best way to increase your Youtube viewership.

-collaborate with other libraries or community organizations in creating videos. Showing support for other institutions will encourage others to support your library.

-To increase search engine optimization, include phrases that people would use when you're creating a video title, description and tags.

-Facebook will push posts that include videos to your followers newsfeeds more than those without videos.

-It is OK to put a link to a Youtube video on your Twitter/Facebook page several times. Not everyone will see the video each time you post it.

-Your Youtube video should do one of the following things:

  • Solve a problem
  • Feature a patron
  • Show off the library
  • Create content for children
  • Feature library staff

-Some best practices for creating Youtube videos:

  • Be different: Try to make a video that is unique.
  • Have heart: Try not to be a sterile institution in your Youtube videos. You'll get more engagement if you act more like a human.
  • Keep it short: Keep videos between 60-90 seconds
  • Plan ahead
  • Tell a story

-Some other tips:

  • Turn off monetization on your account, which will remove ads on your videos and/or channel.
  • Use creative commons music for your videos. Search CC Music in Google. ccmixter.org also has creative commons music, and Moby offers many of his songs under a CC license on mobygratis.com.

Organizational Cultures in Public Libraries: Gatekeepers to Effective Outcome Evaluation? by Andrea Bungay
-Dr. Bill Irwin of Huron University College is part of a group of researchers looking at creating a set of indices that will measure quality of life outcomes that libraries provide in communities (called the L-Value Index).

-his work revolves around the current evaluation systems that exist in libraries, how they can be improved, and what hampers improvement.

  • at present, libraries are primarily focused on output measures when evaluating services, such as program attendance, circulation data, clicks on websites etc.
  • The OPLA Child and Youth Services Committee Team surveyed libraries, which revealed that most public libraries don't use outcome impact measures. The larger the library, the less the chance that outcomes measures are used.
  • Many libraries don't measure outcome impacts because funders (municipalities, etc.) generally don't require them to approve funding.

-Bill notes that there are other, workplace subcultural reasons as to why outcome impact measures aren't used:

  • collection of this type of data is seen as "busy work" by staff
  • collection of this type of data is seen as additional work by staff
  • staff are more comfortable gathering informal feedback, or not gathering data at all
  • collection of this type of data is seen as too onerous by staff
  • staff are worried that they themselves are being evaluated, as opposed to the library program or service
  • staff are worried about what the outcomes will reveal about a program/service
  • staff lack the appropriate education and training to partake in the collection and analysis of outcome impact measures

-In order to overcome/change this subculture, it is necessary for managers/administration to stress the importance of the "big picture" to staff. That it is important to collect this type of data for the betterment of the library, its programs and services, and that a negative evaluation of a program or service is not necessarily a negative evaluation of the staff member. Outcome measures and the presentation of findings are a good way to get more money from municipalities and agencies, because they better exemplify the benefit of library programs/services in the community.

-Implementing outcome-based models does require a change in the workplace subculture. The L-value index includes a rubric so that libraries can self-evaluate the existing subculture. This allows libraries to know where they stand before implementing outcome-based measures.

-However, it is important to be truthful, and explain that when outcome-based measures are implemented that some programs/services will be discontinued and others will be created.

-In one study, municipal councilors were surveyed and many valued the library's importance more highly compared to other municipal departments. Survey results also revealed that, although the library is not providing outcome-based statistics and municipalities are not requiring them, that councilors highly value outcome-based values, such as:

  • increase in civic engagement
  • a more inclusive community
  • improved literary skills
  • a more creative community
  • increased economic well-being
  • increased self-esteem and confidence

-There are 4 dimensions to outcome measures that are going to be built into the L-Value Index. Each dimension will have its own indices that include both qualitative and quantitative measures:

  • economic
  • social
  • cultural
  • lifelong learning

-Information on how this index will be built is in the early stages. Currently Bill and his associates are completing research and beginning to perform data analysis. Thereafter, the indices needs to be tested and refined. Once the indices have been refined, a toolkit will be created for libraries to use to evaluate their services/programs in an outcome-based way.

-In the meantime, libraries looking towards collecting outcome-based measures need to start thinking about desired outcomes for programs before implementing the program itself. Yes, it is important to retroactively evaluate the outcomes of programs and services, but it is almost more important to think about the outcomes of new programs and services, which will help to determine whether this new program/service is in fact a worthwhile endeavor.

Culture of Numeracy - Andrea Adair-Tippins
This was mainly geared to school libraries but there were a few things I picked up.

Essentially, a culture of numeracy is about showing kids math is everywhere. The presenter talked about ways of using books to illustrate how math not only exists in our lives but it can also be fun (code breaking for instance).

A couple of things that I liked: she pointed to a newsletter from Random House that promoted Book Mating : Downton Abbey + Pride and Prejudice = Longbourne. I thought this was kind of cool and might be very fun to try (my kind of math!!)

She also talked about comparing the physical proportions of books which I thought I could do quite easily in Storytime.

She also mentioned that Queens University has a site linking math to books.

Words2Numbers - Andrea Adair-Tippins

Examining Children’s Literature for teaching Mathematics with Ann LeSage, a professor in the in Faculty of Education at UoIt.

I attended two sessions about math and early numeracy at OLA because I would like to implement more than counting books into storytime. The irony is not lost on me that I’m looking into math and storytime when I just passed my grade 13 math final and immediately blocked out everything to do with the subject. From what I’ve been reading however, Math is important – who knew?

How important? According to LeSAge, preschool numeracy is as important (if not more) as early literacy. While the session was geared for schools, it answered a lot of my questions about how to approach math in storytime. She provided a list of books suitable for JK to grade 8, which also highlighted the math concepts in each title. In addition, she provided a checklist to judge whether a book is good for numeracy purposes.

The first question to ask is whether the book has a good a story. If yes, then look at the other stuff, if not, then don’t read it just because there is math.

I learned that preschoolers need to count past 10. Apparently teen numbers are very difficult for preschoolers to comprehend. Counting to 10 is clear, once you reach 20 and start again with 21, 22 that works too. But in between is difficult (for instance, what is a fifteen?), so it is important to count past 10.

Books also need to include zero too. “Ideally,” she said “I want to see it as a multiple”… math brain here thinks that means she doesn’t want children to learn to add an “0” to a number to make it something else (2 + 0 for instance is not 20).
Illustrations of numbers should not be hidden (don’t represent 4 with a car only showing two tires).

Do the illustrations let you talk about more or less, when interacting with the book you should be able to talk about the math and the book should promote positive math (that it’s fun…not a punishment) and it is really important to look for books that have girls doing math.

Friday, January 30

1501G: Get Growing with a Seed Library- Sandra W Marrin
Meaford Public Library
What is a seed library?: seeds borrowed for use, donate seeds back to the library at the end of the season
-mostly vegetable seeds but also herbs and flowers
-175 patrons borrowed 400 packs of seeds in 2014
-a seed library allows you to connect with: gardeners (experienced and beginner), existing patrons who would like to try gardening, individuals and groups interested in sustainability and food security and knowing where your food comes from, community gardening groups, children.
-set-up can be simple: need a box to house the seed packs, label them, large filing cabinet to house the box, 2 drawers of veg, 1 herb, 1 flower

Instructions for borrowing seeds:
1. seeds are stored alphabetically in the filing cabinet
2. for every plant you intend to grow, take 6 seeds to ensure germination
3. copy the basic info. you need off the seed packet, transfer the seeds you are borrowing

-have a basket and sign in your library: "seed donations are gratefully accepted"
-in order to reduce waste, please put the date you received the seeds on the package

What to do with your seed library:
1. advertise it- newspapers, signs, staff
2. programming- childrens: life cycle of a seed,classroom visits, take away to grow something, adults: how to save variety of seeds, best planting time to plant various seeds, garden tours, 100 Mile Diet

Challenges: people often reluctant to take seeds and believe that they are free, space- where to put it?, dealing with seeds can be problematic (mould etc.), passive program= hard to get statistics- rely on sign out sheets, lack of control- overborrowing- debate of whether you need a library card to borrow, need to replenish seed stocks- an annual issue, but more use during the high season (May/June).
-Sandra W Marrin

1502J: You can do that here: building a maker culture at your library

This session was about focusing on a community-partnered library system. The library should not be a community-led organization, but rather a place where the community has a say and can contribute to programming ideas, collection development, etc. The library should act as a community facilitator when possible, and be a community hub, instead of remaining static. Having a maker culture in your library entails approaching programs and services with the motto "you can do that here". The speaker, Michael Laverty, a librarian from The Sioux Lookout Public Library, used examples from his library to demonstrate his point: he talked about how his CEO has a weekly brainstorming meeting with all the librarians so that they can discuss ideas about services and programs. The CEO makes a conscious effort to approach the ideas discussed in these meetings with a "yes" mentality and encourages her staff to sort out the details to make service innovations happen. Some suggested ways to build a maker culture include, opening up certain policies to patrons so that they can suggest ways to revise them (with the caveat that not all suggestions can be implemented), allowing patrons to organize a special collection based on their interests, giving patrons the opportunity to have input in the design and delivery of certain programs, and allowing patrons to vote on certain programs to see which ones should be done.


1503F: Equality, Happiness and Well-being: Evaluating Public Library Impacts and Outcomes
Presented by John Pateman of the Thunder Bay Public Library

Pateman discussed the use of traditional library performance measures - membership, circulation and visits - and broader outcomes such as those in the title of this session. He did not discuss specific outcome measurements, but rather measuring the overall benefits that libraries bring to their communities. He talked about libraries as social hubs, learning hubs, cultural centres and economic enablers. With growing inequality in Canada comes a decline in life satisfaction. There has also been a decline in time engaged in arts and culture and time spent volunteering. Libraries can contribute to social inclusivity and the cohesion of communities by creating opportunities for informal activities and creating safe and attractive spaces where the public can meet and interact. Libraries can also partner with other organizations to identify local needs, especially for marginalized groups.
He concluded his presentation by returning to his original theme of how libraries contribute to helping people feel more equal and happier, as well as giving them an overall sense of well-being.


1601: Training the "Untrainable": Helping Staff Embrace Tehnological Change- Sandra W Marrin
Guelph Public Library
-Pop: 114,940
-6 branches
-55 full time/95 part time
-lots of staff there for a long time, don't leave, can be stuck in old ways, not wanting change (many there for 20+ years)
-diverse range of skills and knowledge
-from 2009-2014= 4 new CEOs
-new focus on technology emerged- faced with dilemma of how to bridge the technological divide
-the need for more technology within the library was becoming more and more relevant and necessary
-from 2009-2010 website traffic increased by 46.62%, e-resources increased from 2009-2014 by 546%

Some of the issues: anxiety over the amount of staff time involved, letting go of old responsibilities to make room for the new, "this isn't my job" attitude, arguments about "why" we need to move forward, resentment about peers training peers, staff upset because they felt like they weren't in the know, disconnect between departments and locations, staff not understanding what new terms meant

What was learned:
-communication was key
-we need to work as a team and not as individual
-cross collaboration- across departments and locations
-training essential before launching a new service
-allowing staff to question new programs and services was a good thing
-form staff teams when rolling out new projects- get staff on board and excited and they will pass it on to other staff
-monthly challenges with prizes
-have staff give feedback on resources before purchase
-Staff Development Days
-CEO Listening Tours
-Task forces
-Team Building
-hire the best staff
-restructure positions where possible and where needed
-professional development
-get the community involved
-collaborate with other library systems
-sometimes you can't get 100% buy in
-find hidden talents of staff
-emphasize team aspects, get staff interested in projects, make sure everyone has ample opportunity to be trained
Remember to: start small, set reasonable goals, be flexible, keep a clear timeline
-Sandra W Marrin

1601: Training the "Untrainable": Helping Staff Embrace Technological Change

This session was about the experiences of the Guelph Public Library as they underwent a lot of change in a short amount of time (3-5 years). The presentation was made by the CEO of GPL, Steve Kraft and the system's e-Librarian, Meg Forestell-Page. Some of the changes that GPL is undergoing include developing a permanent tech-bar where patrons can sit and try out the latest tech devices, an increase in e-resources including Hoopla, a new website, a Robert Munsch portal on their site, developing a social media strategic plan so that the use of social media is firmly embedded within the organization (versus doing it ad hoc like they were before), and loaning out tablets and e-readers to patrons. Some examples of ways they helped staff buy in to change and learn the new services included: having a treasure-hunt competition between staff and departments focusing on a different e-resource each month; developing a cross-departmental committee called the "E-Force" to train all staff on e-books and the various devices on the market; developing a website committee that consisted of reps from each department and included the IT manager, so that staff had a say in what they felt was important for them and the library's patrons regarding usability of the new website. GPL also introduced a new position, the e-Librarian, which is designed to not only help implement new resources but also to facilitate staff training on technology.

The speakers also addressed the issue of how they are approaching staff who continue to have trouble accepting change within the organization. They hold two staff development days a year, the CEO does regular "listening tours" where he visits each department to give staff the opportunity to talk to him one-on-one, team building external events (i.e. events that are not directly library-related, but help to build relationships among staff), departmental and individual goals which are set yearly and are built into staff reviews. Other things to consider are: hiring the best staff, taking the opportunity to restructure positions wherever possible, contract out positions (i.e. a graphic designer), looking for hidden talents among staff, and building in opportunities for staff to do professional development training. Most importantly, the speakers emphasized that we must accept there wont' be 100% buy-in and to not let it be discouraging or stifle momentum.


1701G: Infusing Creativity and Innovation into Programming to Increase Customer Engagement

This session was presented by the Toronto Public Library. They discussed some large-scale projects that TPL has done over the last several years as part of their annual "Keep Toronto Reading" Festival. One program, centered around the book "The Cellist of Sarajevo" (part of the 2014 "Keep Toronto Reading" Festival) included hiring various Cellists from the TSO to perform Albinoni's Adagio in different venues across the city over a period of 22 days. These events served as a way to advertise the Festival and inspire Torontonians to read the book. Here is a link to information about it on TPL's website (including a video): [http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/ktr/the-travelling-cellist.jsp]

Using many examples of large-scale programs such as this, the presenters discussed their brainstorming and planning processes for creating these projects. They emphasized that creativity must be done in a way that builds staff skills throughout the entire process, not just in the final product. Other points they made include: failure is part of the process, and it can't impede innovation; it doesn't have to be high tech to be innovative; collaboration is key to getting great ideas; and thinking big is okay and shouldn't be feared. Finally, they also talked about innovation to help change the perception of the library, which they included as one of their project outcomes.


1701 m Making Every Second Count: Tools to Refocus Your Time and Energy on New Programs and Initiatives - Emily

The idea of this presentation was that by changing the way you do things, you can find more time in your day, which can then be used for coming up with new projects and initiatives. The speaker mentioned some of the biggest time wasters, and gave some tips on how to free up more time. She talked about how little things, such as email, can really waste a lot of our time, especially when we check it constantly. Ideally we should only check email half a dozen times per day (many people check it up to 50 times a day!). She stressed the importance of making lists and prioritizing tasks. By tackling the most important tasks first, you free up time later in your day.

Make the most of your time, eg. make one phone call, rather than emailing back and forth. It’s also more efficient to tackle one task at a time, rather than trying to multi-task. When programming, look for ways to recycle ideas and materials. For instance, by turning a regular program into an outreach program, you can create a new initiative for your library, but it hasn’t required a lot of extra time.

She also explained that she has tried to minimize interruptions by "training" her staff to assess the problem before they interrupt her. If it's not urgent, they don't bother her right away. Also, since she is responsible for tech help, patrons have to make an appointment ahead of time to see her. This allows her to designate her work time accordingly.

I definitely found some of the speaker's tips more practical than others, but even a few small changes to the way we do things could make a big difference in our productivity.

1702A : Style is Everything: Marketing Strategies for your Library

Using examples of advertisements in mass media, the presenters (from Georgian College Library) discussed marketing best practices for library displays and programs. Included in their discussion, they encouraged us to think like our target audience, keep the message simple (lots of white space), and to use humour in your message when possible. Marketing is about telling your story in a way that your audience wants to hear it. They highlighted some branding initiatives that Georgian College Library has done, including a unified approach to posters and signage throughout the library.

One of the presenters, Liz Jarnicki, a graphic designer by trade, also touched on accessibility standards and recommended the RGD Association's (Registered Graphic Designers Association) handbook on designing for accessibility.


1702E: Merchandising, The Vaughan Method - Emily
It took Vaughan PL 4 years to implement their new merchandising practices. It took them awhile before they realized that they needed outside help in order to bring change to their library, so they brought in a consultant. One of the things that they focused on was ensuring that the patron experience was the same, no matter which library location they were at. They did this by using the same type of signage and furniture at every location, and organizing things in similar ways, including having a Marketplace area at each location for browsing.

In order to create more and better displays, they purchased a variety of new shelves and tables. While much of the furniture was purchased through regular suppliers, some was custom made. This is something to keep in mind, as sometimes it can be difficult to find appropriate furniture. Some of the custom design ideas actually came from bookstores that staff had visited.

Staff were provided with training, so as to understand what it takes to make a good, eye-catching display, and guidelines were created so that everyone was on the same page (for example, displays are up for no longer than three weeks). The speaker mentioned that staff are able to have a conversation with patrons through their displays, which I though was a neat concept.

In addition to creating better displays for people to browse, Vaughan also worked on de-cluttering their public spaces. Public service desks are kept very tidy, and program brochures are kept in acrylics to keep them organized. This makes it very easy for people to find what they are looking for.

Having worked in a bookstore for many years, I'm very interested in how libraries use merchandising methods. I think there's a lot that libraries can learn from bookstores, and it was very interesting to hear about what Vaughan is doing.

1702F: The Benefits of Automatic Release Plans- Sandra W Marrin
This session was presented jointly by LSC and the Kingston Frotenac Library, KFPL provided information on their experiences with ARP's and LSC gave information on how ARP's work and the benefits of using these at your library.
ARP= value added service, to free up selection and reference librarian time to focus on other duties
-large volume purchasing discounts
-books arrive shelf ready
ARP's= set budget, profile is created (likes/dislikes, copy #'s, binding types, size limitations, library specific details (based on demographic and patron needs).

How is this done?: publisher meetings and presentations, monthly catalogues, awards lists, professional journals, websites/blogs, publisher feeds, social media, internal acquisitions software, library catalogue- the vendor always has your library catalogue open

What makes ARP's successful? Ongoing dialogue and open communication with the library

KFPL Experience with ARP's & LSC
What works: bestsellers are ordered well in advance, rural branches benefit, local interests are served, focus on patron requests
What didn't work: too many James Patterson books (it was adjusted)= communication is key and it always still requires library awareness

DVDs- use box office #'s to determine which ones are considered bestsellers
-Sandra W Marrin

1800: Chief of Confusion- John Seely Brown- Sandra W Marrin
Part scientist, part artist and part strategist, John Seely Brown's unofficial title has become "Chief of Confusion" focusing on helping people ask the right questions and make sense out of a constantly changing world. Brown is considered one of the leading contemporary thinkers on how technology impacts modern life.
-we participate in the flow of knowledge and create new knowledge
-in a constantly changing world the half life of many skills is constantly shrinking
-we as learners need new strategies and tools to move ahead
-our vision of libraries is itself in a state of flux
-offer spaces custom built for collaboration, equipped with cutting edge tools to make concepts concrete
-learning dimensions: content can be taught, skills can be mentored, dispositions can be cultivated
-disposition of an entrepreneurial learner: curiousity driven by awe
-spaces for cultivating the imagination and dispositions= 21st century urban library
-core values: equity, full participation, social connection
-today children have multiple kinds of literacy: visual, musical, procedural, cinematic= quite a different public library than the one before
-Chicago PL- has a room full of technology lined with books- they have more checkouts than ever before 700% increase!
-Makerspaces, 3D printers, hackers
-play creates a space to try out new things
-a new role for the urban library- creating a social space or a creation space for the world of imagination
-imagination- thriving in a world of what if
-21st century library= place the library as hub of the community, mentoring, guiding, design studio, all ages
-Sandra W Marrin

1800: John Seely Brown: "Chief of Confusion"

In this plenary presentation, John Seely discussed the concept of the entrepreneurial learner (most commonly found in Millennials): people who exhibit curiosity in action, a strong ethic in connecting to others, engaging with others and reflecting. He argued that the focus for the 21st Century urban library is to provide spaces for cultivating the entrepreneurial learner, and to move away from making stuff in the maker movement to making context. Context is when the maker has an epiphany that helps them in some way for the rest of their life. The 21st Century library should be part to this process as a way to scaffold its community. How do we do this? We must provide a new kind of design studio where content and context come together, which positions the library as the hub of the community.


PS13: The One Book One Aurora Project
-Reccia Mandelcorn, Cindy Shave of the Aurora Public Library

Aurora wanted to use this initiative to reach people who were not necessarily already library users. They purchased 100 copies of the book, which were placed in small portable houses (similar to Little Free Libraries) in community centres and other public buildings. The houses were constructed by a local woodworkers group, and six copies of the book were placed in each location. A label inside each book explained the program and asked the reader to pass on the book when done or return it to the library. There was no need to check the book out, and there was no expectation that all books would come back to the library.

Having a visit by the author was an essential part of the program, and partner orgaizations were identified on all publicity .


PS15: Homeschool Program - Successful and Engaging
Jana Tamosetis, Jennifer Coleman-Davidson, Bee Stillar, of the Bonnechere Union Public Library, Eganville

Bonnechere Public Library offers a weekly program for homeschoolers. A separate room is set aside for parents to discuss issues with each other, with no library staff members involved. Because of the wide range of ages of the children attending, library staff members provide a themed storytime for the younger children, with a learning component each week, while volunteers, usually retired teachers, work with the older children. Even though they are a small community, numbers have been very good for this program.


Reference on Reddit: Can We Help? by Andrea B
Reddit was founded in 2005 by a couple of students, and Aaron Schwartz became involved. Schwartz was instrumental in the creation of the RSS feed, Creative Commons amongst other things. This is important regarding Reddit, because Schwartz was passionate about freedom of information and open access and that is certainly the spirit of Reddit.

Since it's creation, Reddit has turned into a giant social networking community that operates in the format of a collection of forums. In 2014 Reddit had 174 million unique users from 186 different countries, and interestingly, most of those users simply visited to read the posts on Reddit, not to post unique content or comment.

Also interestingly, many articles and stories often originate on Reddit, and then make their way into other social media streams, or traditional news media.

The most sizeable group of Reddit users are males ages 18-29. Google Trends reports that Canada is the #1 country visiting Reddit.

Reddit is a compilation of thousands of forums, which are called Subreddits. A subreddit is indicated with /r/ before the name of the forum. Example: /r/worldnews. Users can write their own posts or share articles/pictures/videos that they find online in a subreddit. Followers/visitors to the subreddit can "up vote" or "down vote" a subreddit post, which means that users determine the importance and validity of posts. Posts that add valuable information to the subreddit are generally voted up, while posts that are deemed inaccurate or empty of important content are generally voted down. The more up votes a post gets, the closer to the top of the feed the post is situated. The more down votes a post gets, the closer to the bottom of the feed the post is situated. Posts that receive many down votes, for the most part, disappear from the feed because they are put at the very bottom where users don't go.

The subreddit /r/IAMA (Internet, Ask Me Anything) is a very popular subreddit, in which users that have some sort of story to tell who users may consider interesting solicit questions from the reddit community. For example, a celebrity can go onto Reddit (Margaret Atwood and Barack Obama have) and put up a post in this subreddit explaining who they are, and encouraging users to "ask them anything" (usually for a defined period of time). Users then post their questions, and the celebrity will answer. /r/IAMA is not limited to celebrities: first responders, web show producers, YouTube phenomenons and musicians are part of a very small sampling of other people who have posted on /r/IAMA.

Other popular subreddits include:
/r/explainlikeI'm5 - Someone asks a question, and a user responds, in clear, basic language, with an answer to their question.

Librarians can (and already have) contribute to relevant subreddits or create (and moderate) their own subreddit on a specific niche subject. Local history is an example of such a niche subreddit a library could create or get involved with. Some libraries have also created a subreddit for their library that acts as a virtual reference desk.

The presenters did research on reddit and focused on the subreddit /r/scholar, which was created in 2009 and has over 20,000 subscribers.

/r/scholar is meant for researchers who are looking for a specific article, and users can respond with a link to that article. Researchers are expected to do legwork before posting to this subreddit, and explain the steps they've taken to find the article themselves. It is not a research help forum, per se, but rather a place where article links are shared. Legal channels are encouraged, such as accessing open access journals as well as trying to obtain articles via ILLO. However, this subreddit is not always respectful of copyright. Reciprocity of assistance is encouraged.

A majority of the articles found for /r/scholar requests came from a file sharing website called Library Genesis (aka LibGen). It is described as the "Library of Alexandria for the Internet" and their goal is to gather and collect information that is available, and to make it available to the world (online) in perpetuity. They have about 20 million academic articles and millions of books, both fiction and non-fiction. It's based in Russia, and is currently the largest open collection of material in the world. To be clear, a lot of the material on LibGen is pirated.

Where can libraries be more involved on Reddit?
-Reference Desk on Reddit
-Library staff can follow library-related subreddits and share their input, experiences and best practices with other libraries/librarians.
-Library staff can submit responses to subreddits where people are asking for book suggestions, such as /r/suggestmeabook

Things libraries should NOT do on Reddit
-Don't promote yourself. One of the rules on Reddit is to not self-promote. Reddit is not for marketing.
-Don't omit citations if you answer a question. The Reddit community expects proper citation, and highly values information literacy.

Saturday, January 31

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